FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND
AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
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SPECIAL REPORT FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSIONS TO SUDAN

17 January 2002

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MISSION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cereal production in 2001 is forecast at 4.8 million tonnes, 38 percent up on last year and 9 percent above the average of the preceding five years.
  • Expansion in cultivated area, partly in response to Government encouragement, and favourable weather in many areas accounted for the increased production.
  • The availability of cereals in 2002 will be markedly improved. However, the sharp fall in sorghum prices in major producing areas could result in financial ruin for farmers and substantial reductions in area planted next year.
  • Despite the overall increased production, severe food deficits are anticipated in parts of southern Sudan, mainly due to population displacements, and in parts of the western States of Darfur and Kordofan and Red Sea State where dry spells and early cessation of rain have resulted in the third consecutive reduced crop.
  • Food assistance estimated at 155 000 tonnes is needed for about 2 million war displaced, drought-affected and vulnerable people, mainly in southern and western Sudan and the Red Sea State, as well as in the Nuba Mountains.
  • Food aid requirements should be procured locally to the extent possible. Rapid intervention in moving grain from surplus to deficit accessible areas is vital to help vulnerable groups and to stabilise prices.
  • Urgent assistance is also required for provision of seeds and other agricultural inputs to the affected population for the next cropping season that starts in June/July 2002.

1. OVERVIEW

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited southern Sudan from 8 to 30 October 2001 and northern Sudan from 16 November to 6 December 2001 to assess current season cereal production, forecast wheat production from areas prepared for planting, and estimate cereal import requirements in the marketing year 2001/02 (November/October). The Mission was able to visit 24 of the 26 states in the country, both in Government and rebel held areas. This mission was particularly in response to last year's drought-induced severe food shortages in Sudan which necessitated large humanitarian interventions.

The Mission received full co-operation from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), which assigned senior staff to accompany the Mission. Pre-harvest data on area and yield were provided to the Mission by State Ministries of Agriculture and the various irrigation schemes for all cereal crops in all states in northern Sudan. The Mission cross-checked the data during field visits and farmer and trader interviews. Discussions were also held with key informants from local government administrations, UN agencies and NGOs.

In southern Sudan, rebel-held areas were visited from Kenya and background information was provided by the WFP Technical Support and Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) units, USAID Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) and several NGOs, including Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA), Relief Association of Southern Sudan (RASS), CONCERN, CRS, Save the Children-UK, TEARFUND and MSF. Due to lack of infrastructure and systematic data collection, planted area and yield

were derived from population estimates and historical data for farm sizes and cropping patterns, adjusted following Mission field observations. In Government held areas, data were provided by State Ministries of Agriculture and HAC Early Warning Unit. Further information was obtained from other NGOs, including ACCORD, Action Contre la Faim, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Women's Self Help (WSH), Ben International Foundation (BIF), Sudan Red Crescent and Sudan Council of Churches.

Notwithstanding some flooding and dry spells in parts, the 2001 cropping season in Sudan was characterised by generally favourable weather conditions.

In the Northern sector, this year's satisfactory production has been largely the result of area expansion. Farmers increased their plantings due to favourable weather, relatively high cereal prices at planting and in response to Government inducement to cultivate more cereal crops, particularly in the irrigation schemes. As a result, area harvested under cereals in 2001 increased by nearly 30 percent compared to 2000. Cereal production on the irrigation schemes, mechanised farms and traditional sector has increased by 32 percent, 36 percent and 41 percent respectively compared to last year.

In the Southern sector, civil conflict and insecurity have continued to hamper agricultural activities. However, in 2001 rainfall has generally been good over much of the south and production has improved over last year, especially in Western Equatoria. Improved access to agricultural areas in many zones, with the notable exception of Raga, parts of Unity State and parts of Sobat Corridor in Upper Nile State, has increased planted area. Crop pest and disease levels have been low and have contributed further to the satisfactory season. Rangelands have benefited from the favourable rains, and livestock condition is generally good at present. The continuing adherence to the peace accord between the Dinka and the Nuer is expected to benefit pastoralists over significant areas of the south.

The Mission forecasts 2001/02 total cereal production in Sudan at about 4.81 million tonnes, comprising 3.77 million tonnes of sorghum, about 579 000 tonnes of millet and 315 000 tonnes of wheat (to be harvested in April/May 2002) and about 146 000 tonnes of other cereals. At this level, cereal production is about 38 percent above last year's average crop and about 9 percent above the average of the last five years.

This above average crop, coupled with carryover stocks and forecast commercial imports, consisting mainly of wheat, will result in an overall ample cereal supply in 2002. This will allow increased cereal consumption and building up of stocks. In response, prices of cereals in major producing areas of central and eastern parts of the country have declined sharply. In Gedaref, sorghum prices in November/December 2001 were substantially below their level a year ago and were declining. The decline in prices coupled with a sharp increase in gasoline prices has discouraged many farmers from harvesting standing crops in parts.

With limited prospects for exports in 2002, mainly due to improved harvests in neighbouring countries, heavy supplies are expected to depress prices further. The Government intends to implement a floor price policy of market intervention, through the Strategic Commodity Reserve Authority (SCRA), in order to stabilise prices. The World Food Programme (WFP) has also made some local purchases for its programme food assistance in the country. Substantial purchases are required from surplus producing areas to support farmers as well as consumers in deficit areas.

Livestock in the north of the country are generally in good condition. However, poor rangeland productivity in some areas, particularly in parts of Kordofan and Darfur, is expected to result in severe feed shortages in the coming months, necessitating stock movements. This is by no means unusual, but the situation is exacerbated this year by the very depressed prices of livestock resulting from the ban on livestock imports from the Horn of Africa, including Sudan, by countries in the Arabian Peninsula due to suspected Rift Valley Fever. Recent reports indicate that the ban by Saudi Arabia, by far the most important importing country, has been lifted, but it will take some time for the effect of this to filter down to pastoralists. In the meantime, stocking levels are expected to remain higher than can be adequately sustained through available grazing, for lack of marketing outlets.

While the overall food situation is favourable, the global picture masks serious deficits at regional and local levels. Despite increased production, several zones in southern Sudan, including Kapoeta and Torit in East Equatoria, Aweil West, Aweil East, Gogrial, Twic/Abyei and Tonj in North Bahr el Ghazal, Raja in West Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei and Unity will be in cereal deficit mainly due to population displacement and insecurity. The predicted cereal surpluses in West Equatoria, Lakes and Upper Nile States will be unavailable in deficit areas due to market segmentation and absence or break down of normal trade routes and infrastructure. Even within surplus States the inability of both urban and rural poor to access the available food means that food assistance will be required in 2002. In northern Sudan, parts of North Kordofan, West Kordofan, North Darfur, South Darfur and Red Sea State have suffered crop failures due to erratic weather. For most, this is the third consecutive year of poor harvest. As a result, prices of cereals, particularly for the staple millet crop, have remained unusually high, thus eroding the purchasing power of the population, with large segments depending of food assistance. Therefore, targeted emergency food assistance will be required in these areas. It is particularly important to facilitate the timely purchase and transfer of grains from surplus to deficit areas to support both producers and consumers.

For various interventions in the drought affected States of Kordofan, Darfur and the Red Sea, an estimated 78 000 tonnes of cereals are required. In southern Sudan, where insecurity is a major cause of food aid needs, the overall needs are estimated at 52 000 tonnes. In addition, food aid needs in the Nuba Mountains (both northern and southern sectors) amount to about 25 000 tonnes. In total, 155 000 tonnes of food aid will be required in 2002 to assist about 2 million IDPs, drought affected and vulnerable people.

2. RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

Agriculture remains the most important sector in the Sudanese economy both in terms of its contribution to GDP (42 percent in 2000) and to employment (more than two-third of the population). However, the share of agriculture in the economy is declining as petroleum exports increase. The country's leading export commodity was petroleum products in the year 2000, valued at more than US$1.3 billion (75 percent of the total exports). This was followed by sesame and livestock products, valued at US$ 147 million (8 percent) and US$ 66 million (4 percent) respectively. Other important exports included cotton and gold, valued at US$ 52 million and US$ 46 million respectively.

In March 2001, the government introduced further agricultural reforms, including the removal or reduction of most direct and indirect taxes on agricultural production and marketing, and a reduction in business profit taxes from 35 percent to 10 percent for all companies engaged in agricultural production, processing and marketing.

To compensate for the revenue loss to regional States, a 12.5 percent tax increase on gasoline prices was introduced in October 2001. However, this price hike coincided with the harvesting period and substantially increased the cost of production for farmers. This, combined with the current low farm-gate prices of sorghum in major surplus producing areas, has forced some farmers to reduce or abandon altogether the harvesting of their crops.

In September 2000, the government established the Strategic Commodity Reserve Authority (SCRA) in response to food shortages in parts of the country following prolonged drought conditions. The functions of the Authority include market stabilisation, mainly for staple cereals, through imports and local purchases and free and/or subsidised distribution of food to vulnerable groups in emergency situations. In 2000/01, the SCRA imported about 70 000 tonnes of cereals to fill the food gap in the country. Currently, there is also a plan to purchase large amounts of cereals from farmers who were encouraged to plant more cereals this season. Unfortunately, delayed allocation of finance to the SCRA has resulted in losing precious time in supporting farmers and the market. At the time of the Mission, sorghum prices were declining sharply in all major surplus areas, including Blue Nile and Gedaref States.

3. CEREAL PRODUCTION IN 2001

3.1 Main factors affecting production in 2001

Rainfall

Annual rainfall in Sudan ranges from almost zero in the north of the country to 1,800 mm in the southern state of Western Equatoria. This year, rainfall in the northern sector generally started on time, leading to expectations of higher agricultural production than last year. Overall, and especially in the important Central Region, these expectations have been realised.

In Gezira and Kassala, rainfall was noticeably better this year than last. Both Gedaref and Blue Nile registered good rains in June and July which were followed by a dry period; however, this dry spell gave way to heavy rains in August, and satisfactory amounts were well distributed in September and October. Sennar State compensated for a late start to the season with well distributed rainfall during the later months. In parts of the west of the country though, where traditional rainfed farming accounts for nearly all cereal production, the promising rainfall performance early in the season was not always sustained. Some areas suffered from prolonged dry spells, whereas others experienced an unusually early ending of the rains; a notable exception was West Darfur in the extreme west, where rainfall amounts and distribution were better than normal and good cereal production is expected. Red Sea State experienced its third consecutive dry year, apart from the coastal strip where rainfall appears promising for the winter season.

Because of the high initial rainfall in many parts of the country, and good rainfall upstream, the level of the Nile was higher than usual this year. Although this led to localised destructive flooding during August, it did allow an increased area of rice to be grown. Vegetable production also benefited from the high river levels.

In the southern sector, annual rainfall amounts increase from north to south and from east to west. This year, the rains started on time in most areas, were generally well distributed, and were considered by most farmers to be better than in recent years. However, heavy rains in August spoilt some crops, especially in Bahr el Ghazal and prevented later planting of sorghum in parts of Jonglei where soils remained water-logged for several weeks.

Agricultural inputs

The principal users of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and improved seeds in Sudan are the farmers in the irrigated sector. Improved sorghum varieties grown this year include 'Wad Ahmed', 'Tabet', 'White Dwarf' and 'Gadam Hamam'. Fertilizer - usually only urea - is normally provided through the corporations managing the schemes; there may be some under-application resulting from farmers selling all or part of their allocation. Pesticide use on cereals remains low, pesticides being reserved principally for cash crops such as cotton. Increasingly, farmers in the rainfed and mechanised sector are recognising the potential advantages of certain inputs, especially of improved seed. 'Tabet' and 'Feterita' are widely used. The results, however, are not always striking, depending as they do on the satisfactory implementation of all the other cultivation practices and good rainfall distribution. While it is true that the vast majority of farmers in the traditional sector still use seed saved from their previous harvest and apply no purchased inputs, the small proportion using improved seed is gradually growing in those areas benefiting from the various distribution programmes of Government, NGOs and international organisations and the results are generally encouraging. In Red Sea State, for instance, the sorghum varieties 'Arfa Gadamek', 'Aklamoy' and 'Hamashin' were distributed. Seed distribution is especially important in areas that have suffered repeated droughts where farmers, because of poor or non-existent harvests, have been unable to save seed.

The increase in the cost of fuel in October 2001 appears to have had little effect on planting operations for sorghum and millet, but has affected harvesting and is expected to have an impact on wheat production during the current winter season. Several states that were expecting high production of cereals were faced with inadequate supply of empty sacks.

Weeds, pests and diseases

2001 was not remarkable for pest infestation or disease infection amongst the cereal crops, and in those areas where production was poor, low yields were more usually attributable primarily to problems of rainfall distribution. However, there were localised instances of sorghum midge (Contarinia sorghicola) in most sorghum-producing areas which led to yield reductions, and there were some indications that the variety 'Tabet' might be more susceptible than others. Outbreaks, however, were generally not serious, and certainly not on the scale of two years ago when crops were devastated in the eastern states. Some limited outbreaks of American bollworm were reported in parts of the centre and east. Sorghum smut hit some crops, but usually at a low rate; the traditional sector is most susceptible because of the use of untreated seed. Incidence of downy mildew on millet was observed in parts of North Darfur. Birds were often troublesome for both sorghum and millet crops in localities where woodlands provide nesting sites, but their effects were generally reduced by the MOA's extensive and effective spraying campaign against Quelea quelea, which is classified as a national pest. Grasshoppers attacked millet, and to a lesser extent sorghum, in many areas, especially in the west. Millet headworm was reported in several parts of the west, often causing a further reduction in yields that were already low in those areas experiencing poorly distributed rainfall. Striga was noted in a significant proportion of sorghum fields, but its severity appears to have been low. In some areas, such as parts of Kordofan, where the normally staggered start to the rains allows a movement of labour for weeding, this year's uniform start resulted in inadequate weeding of a high proportion of cultivated land. Sudan grass and couch-grass were the most troublesome of the weeds.

Pests and diseases of non-cereal crops were generally not serious this year, with the important exception of the watermelon bug, which devastated hundreds of thousands of hectares of watermelon in the west of the country. Last year, a food-for-work campaign was mounted, whereby food was earned in return for the manual removal of bugs from the watermelon crop. Despite the fact that the campaign was highly effective in demonstrating its efficacy, the practice does not appear to have been implemented this year.

Prices

High cereal prices in 2001 as a result of poor harvest in 2000 and subsequent low quantities of grain in store encouraged further expansion of cereal production in mechanised and irrigated sectors of northern Sudan. For instance, sorghum retail prices of SP45 000 to SP50 000 per 90 kg bag which prevailed at the beginning of the cropping season (i.e. from May to July 2001) were well above the SP20 000 considered to be the break-even price for rainfed production, and millet was selling for as much as SP100 000 per 100 kg bag in areas of chronically low production.

3.2 Cereal production forecast

The cereal production forecast for Sudan for 2001/02 is presented in Table 1, along with comparable data for 2000/01. Table 2 gives estimates of harvested area, yield and production by crop and region for the five years 1997/98 - 2001/02. Table 3 shows the total cereal production for each of the northern regions in 2000/01 and 2001/02.

This year's estimated national cereal production of about 4.81 million tonnes is approximately 38 percent higher than last year's, and 9 percent higher than the average of the preceding five years. However, it is still substantially less than the 5.8 million tonnes produced in 1998/99. Much of this year's increase over last year's production is attributable to a significant expansion of harvested area rather than to increased yields. For instance, in the northern sector, the harvested area of sorghum was 33 percent, and the harvested area of millet 31 percent larger than the equivalent areas last year.

Table 1. Sudan: Cereal production forecast for 2001/02 and estimates of 2000/01 (000 tonnes)

 
Sorghum
Millet
Wheat
Total
2001/02 production as percent of 2000/01
State / Scheme
2000/01
2001/02
2000/01
2001/02
2000/01
2001/02
2000/01
2001/02
 
Irrigated
                 
Northern
13
12
0
0
159
153
172
165
96
River Nile
111
180
0
0
61
60
172
240
140
Sennar
44
83
0
0
0
0
44
83
188
White Nile
58
68
0
0
1
12
59
80
126
Gezira
449
632
0
0
52
65
501
697
139
Rahad
105
128
0
0
0
0
105
128
122
Suki
48
44
0
0
0
0
48
44
91
New Halfa
37
59
0
0
22
20
59
79
133
Gash
30
55
0
0
0
0
30
55
184
Tokar
4
4
2
4
0
0
6
8
130
Kassala
1
6
0
0
0
0
1
6
640
Sub total
900
1 271
2
4
295
310
1 197
1 585
132
Mechanized
                 
Kassala
35
72
0
0
0
0
35
72
206
Gedaref
495
446
12
10
0
0
507
456
90
Blue Nile
70
155
1
3
0
0
71
158
223
Sennar
157
210
5
4
0
0
162
214
132
White Nile
36
76
3
2
0
0
39
78
200
N.Kordofan
0
21
0
0
0
0
0
21
-
S.Kordofan
44
147
0
0
0
0
44
147
333
W.Kordofan
0
20
0
0
0
0
0
20
-
S.Darfur
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
100
Sub total
837
1 147
21
19
0
0
858
1 166
136
Traditional
                 
Gezira
34
83
0
0
0
0
34
83
244
Blue Nile
27
43
1
2
0
0
28
45
162
Sennar
20
27
11
6
0
0
31
33
105
White Nile
30
43
5
6
0
0
35
49
139
Kassala
2
4
0
0
0
0
2
4
216
River Nile
0
11
0
0
0
0
0
11
-
Red Sea
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
26
N.Kordofan
25
56
17
64
0
0
42
120
287
S.Kordofan
16
71
11
42
0
0
27
113
420
W.Kordofan
81
80
82
63
0
0
163
143
88
N.Darfur
9
8
61
66
0
0
70
74
106
S.Darfur
166
80
180
106
3
3
349
189
54
W.Darfur
64
328
87
191
1
2
152
521
343
South
419
518
3
10
0
0
422
528
125
Sub total
893
1 352
459
556
4
5
1 356
1 913
141
GRAND TOTAL*
2 630
3770
482
579
299
315
3 472
4 810
138
* Includes maize, mainly produced in southern States, and small amounts of rice
Source: Ministry of Agriculture estimates and Mission forecast.

Table 2. Sudan: Area, yield and production forecast by crop and Region for 2001/02, compared with previous years.

 
Harvested area ( 000 ha)
Yield (t/ha)
Production ( 000 tonnes)
Region
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
Sorghum
                             
Northern
36
64
107
58
107
2.36
1.45
1.74
2.14
1.89
85
93
186
124
203
Central
1 925
2 027
1 348
1 084
1 701
0.60
0.86
0.66
0.89
0.90
1 127
1 738
886
973
1 534
Eastern
1 759
2 377
1 355
1 431
1 553
0.49
0.78
0.34
0.50
0.45
870
1 860
456
709
704
Kordofan
799
627
813
1 003
1 018
0.42
0.65
0.32
0.17
0.39
332
406
261
166
394
Darfur
269
299
462
193
605
1.97
0.67
0.53
1.24
0.69
530
200
245
239
417
South
538
917
550
768
863
0.40
0.58
0.57
0.54
0.60
215
535
313
419
518
Sub-total
5 326
6 311
4 635
4 537
5 847
         
3 159
4 832
2 347
2 630
3 770
Millet
                       
   
Northern
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Central
54
92
125
76
71
0.44
0.46
0.40
0.34
0.31
24
42
50
26
22
Eastern
36
19
35
34
48
0.39
0.68
0.40
0.44
0.29
14
13
14
15
14
Kordofan
1 632
1 061
1 079
775
1 171
0.14
0.13
0.11
0.14
0.15
230
140
123
110
170
Darfur
1 086
1 571
1 138
1 197
1 536
0.34
0.30
0.27
0.27
0.24
374
468
309
328
363
South*
18
20
6
5
20
0.33
0.35
0.50
0.60
0.50
6
7
3
3
10
Sub-total
2 826
2 763
2 383
2 087
2 846
         
648
670
499
482
579
Wheat
                             
Northern
113
55
63
92
69
2.79
1.96
2.87
2.39
3.10
315
108
181
220
213
Central
137
55
19
31
42
1.74
0.65
1.21
1.71
1.83
239
36
23
53
77
Eastern
24
28
6
11
12
1.66
0.75
1.17
2.00
1.66
40
21
7
22
20
Kordofan
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Darfur
3
3
3
4
4
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.25
3
3
3
4
5
South
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Sub-total
277
141
91
138
127
         
597
168
214
299
315
COUNTRY TOTAL*
8 429
9 215
7 109
6 762
8 820
         
4 404
5 670
3 139
3 472
4 810
* Includes maize, mainly produced in southern States, and small amounts of rice.
Source: Ministry of Agriculture estimates and Mission forecast.

3.3 Other crops

The area under rice expanded this year as a result of the higher river levels. White Nile State expected to harvest about 20 000 feddans (8 260 ha), with a yield of around ten 50 kg bags per feddan (1.2 t/ha), while smaller areas are grown in parts of Bahr el Ghazal.

This year's satisfactory total rainfall amounts have also favoured an increase in vegetable production in the northern sector, especially in riverine areas which have benefited from the higher-than-average water levels. Groundnut yields have been generally better than last year, as have those of sesame and karkade; cotton yields are expected to be similar to those of last year. However, the area planted to sesame was smaller this year than during the previous two years, with the trend reverting to more sorghum. In the south, the area under groundnut was slightly smaller than last year, but yields were satisfactory. Cassava yields are forecast to be similar to those of last year, but with an expanded cropped area. The price of cassava flour is currently very low.

Watermelon is an important crop for much of the west of Sudan. It provides a storable source of nutrition and water for both people and livestock. This year in North and West Kordofan an estimated two million feddans (826 000 ha) planted to watermelon were lost completely, largely as a result of attack by the watermelon bug. Greater Darfur fared better, though the reduction was still considerable.

3.4 Livestock

Livestock in the northern sector are in good condition at present. Rangelands, being less sensitive than crops to rainfall distribution, are generally good as a result of the satisfactory total rainfall amounts received over much of the country. In parts of South Darfur, however, where livestock are very important, rangelands are already severely depleted and pastoralists are preparing to move their animals south and west. Where there is competition for grazing, such forced movement may lead to conflict. Further north in parts of North Darfur, water problems are anticipated in a few months time. The water levels in many hafirs are already low and some are reported to have remained dry throughout the rainy season. In the south, good rainfall and fewer major floods have ensured generally better pasture this year and removed much of the grazing pressure which often leads to conflict. Livestock condition is good, and, thanks to the annual vaccination programme, rinderpest remains under control, with no confirmed outbreaks over the last six years

4. AGRICULTURAL SITUATION BY REGION

4.1 Northern Sector

Northern Sudan's total grain production in 2001/02 is expected to show an increase over last year of 38 percent, as is shown in Table 3. Most of this increase was attributable to sorghum which was much more extensively planted this year.

Table 3. Northern Sudan - Aggregated cereal production in 2001/02 and 2000/01 (000 tonnes)

 
Sorghum
 
Millet
   
Wheat
   
Total
 
Region
2000/01
2001/02
%
2000/01
2001/02
%
2000/01
2001/02
%
2000/01
2001/02
%
Northern
124
203
164
0
0
 
220
213
97
344
416
121
Central
1 031
1 534
149
26
22
86
57
77
135
1 114
1 633
147
Eastern
652
704
108
15
14
92
22
20
91
689
738
107
Kordofan
166
394
238
110
170
154
0
0
 
276
564
204
Darfur
239
417
174
328
363
111
4
5
113
571
784
137
GRAND TOTAL
2 212
3 252
147
479
569
119
303
315
104
2 994
4 136
138

 

Northern Region (Northern, Nile)

The population of Northern Region, which comprises Northern and Nile States, is predominantly settled along the banks of the River Nile. Cereal production is mainly based on irrigation, with maize and sorghum being produced in the summer and wheat being grown during the winter months. Summer cereals are grown in pumped irrigation schemes along the Nile and on low-lying "demira" (flood recession) areas. By virtue of its comparatively cool winters and its access to irrigation, Northern Region is the country's main wheat producer.

This year, the region's sorghum production is forecast to be more than 60 percent higher than last year, mainly as a result of lateral expansion in River Nile State; the harvestable area is almost twice what it was last year. Although the region's sorghum yields are expected to be quite satisfactory this year at 1.9 t/ha, this will be lower than last year's productivity achieved on a smaller area.

Last year's winter temperatures were lower than normal, and, judging by early December temperatures, it seems that this may be repeated this year. Low December temperatures will favour the establishment of the wheat crop, and if they continue into February a good crop can be expected. On the basis of the favourable start to the season, yields similar to last year's - 1.2 to 1.3 t/ha - are predicted. A significant expansion of the wheat area was planned for this year but on the evidence of progress observed by the beginning of December it appears that the targets set may not be achieved; harvested areas similar to last year are anticipated.

Eastern Region (Gedaref, Kassala, Red Sea)

Eastern Region includes the major irrigation scheme (New Halfa), 45 percent of another (Rahad), one expanding irrigation scheme (Kassala), two spate irrigation schemes (Gash and Tokar), and the largest rainfed mechanised farming area in the country. This year, with a substantial increase from 2000/01, the region produced about 17 percent of the north's total cereal crop. The rains were generally favourable in the principal production areas, and there was an overall expansion in harvested area compared with last year. The rainfed mechanised area under sorghum in Gedaref, at more than three million feddans (1.3 million hectares), was almost 20 percent larger than in 2000/01, but yields, which averaged about one-and-a-half bags per feddan, were lower than last year, pulling overall production down to slightly below last year's levels. New Halfa, Gash and Rahad also registered increased areas under sorghum, but the area in Tokar contracted slightly. Yields at New Halfa, Gash and Tokar were all better than last year with the result that production on all four schemes was above that of last year. Kassala, despite a huge expansion of its area under irrigated sorghum (from 1 000 to 32 000 feddans), recorded very low yields of less than half a tonne per hectare. Wheat production at New Halfa is expected to be similar to 2000/01, at about 20 000 tonnes.

The yield reduction recorded for rainfed mechanised sorghum at Gedaref despite generally favourable rainfall, may be the manifestation of declining soil fertility which has often been predicted for this area where sorghum is mono-cropped and no fertiliser and improved seed are used.

Levels of pests, diseases and weeds have been generally low this year, with a manageable incidence of Striga and only occasional localised reporting of American bollworm.

Sorghum prices started falling in September in anticipation of satisfactory production, from about SP50 000 per 90kg bag to SP25 000 in November. This led to fears that some of the crop still standing might not be harvested, the low yields and low prices not justifying the expense.

In the north of the region in Red Sea State, winter rains along the littoral have started well, but areas further inland have had a third consecutive year of drought.

Central Region (Gezira, Sennar, Damazin, Blue Nile, White Nile)

This year, Central Region is expected to produce almost 50 percent more grain than it did last year, which will represent approximately 40 percent of the north of Sudan's total grain production. The region comprises four major irrigation schemes (Gezira, Blue Nile, White Nile and Suki), 55 percent of the Rahad irrigation scheme, and substantial areas of rainfed mechanised and traditional farming.

For the rainfed sectors rainfall was very satisfactory this year in terms of both quantity and distribution; 850 mm were recorded at Damazin. In fact, the few delays that were reported for planting were usually due to excessively heavy rainfall. The region's significant increases in production were overwhelmingly attributable to increases in area in both the irrigated and rainfed areas; yields did not change significantly from their levels of last year.

Because of the relatively high levels of the Nile this year, White Nile State has seen a big expansion of rice production, from about 5 000 feddans last year to 20 000 this year. The high water levels have also favoured increased vegetable production.

Levels of pests, diseases and weeds have been generally low this year, with a manageable incidence of Striga and only occasional localised reporting of American bollworm.

Sorghum prices in the region at the end of November were similar to those around Gedaref, again leading to fears that sorghum still standing late in the season might be considered to be not worth harvesting.

Livestock condition is good. With the satisfactory rainy season, grazing is excellent, and the availability of water for livestock is expected to be assured.

Kordofan (North, South and West)

Rainfall in most of Greater Kordofan was satisfactory this year in terms of both quantity and distribution, though this was not always the case in some areas in the north of North Kordofan. In these areas early rains were patchy, which usually necessitated re-planting, and the rains stopped early. Over those large areas which had better rainfall, a uniform rather than a staggered start to the rains led frequently to labour shortages for cultivation and planting. Heavy early rains on some of the lighter soils were blamed for a reduction of fertility.

Cereal production in Greater Kordofan is expected to be more than twice as high as last year, largely as a result of large increases in the harvested area of sorghum. Sorghum production is expected to be well above the average of the previous five years and close to the very satisfactory levels of 1998/99.

Because of the generally better rains, cereal production in Greater Kordofan is expected to be considerably higher this year than in 2000, a function of both increased area and increased overall yields. However, this increase masks some serious local deficits, especially in parts of North Kordofan where rainfall was poor. Birds were a problem in parts of South and West Kodofan, despite the fact that some major nesting areas were sprayed. Few other significant cereal pests were reported, although millet headworm was locally troublesome.

The good early rains in many areas often had an adverse effect on sesame production, with too much vegetative growth at the expense of seed production. In those areas of North Kordofan experiencing repeated post-germination failure for millet, farmers often turned late in the season to millet, but with unsatisfactory results.

The watermelon crop of North and West Kordofan, an important contributor to household food security, was almost totally devastated this year by the watermelon bug as well as some other unidentified causes.
The situation in the northern part of Western Kordofan State is comparable with the northern part of North Kordofan State, they both considered pockets of food deficit in Great Kordofan.

Darfur (North, South and West)

Rainfall in Greater Darfur varied greatly by location during 2001, as did crop performance.

West Darfur has had very satisfactory crop production this year following a season of well distributed rains totalling between 320 and 750 mm. Harvested areas of both sorghum and millet greatly exceeded last year's, and sorghum yields were significantly higher; millet yields were also slightly higher than in 2000.

Crop production in North Darfur is similar to that of last year, despite a very significant increase in the area under millet. The overall millet yield has, however, been seriously reduced by some very poor performance on the sandy soils of the north and east of the state. Watermelon also suffered in these areas, mostly as a result of attack by watermelon bug.

Parts of South Darfur have been particularly badly affected this year by an early cessation of rainfall. After an encouraging start for the millet crop, there were prolonged dry spells during July and August and often only sporadic showers during September, which allowed heading and flowering but no grain-filling. The complete lack of rain thereafter has resulted in large areas of un-harvestable crop. Northerly parts of North Kordofan and North Darfur have also suffered from poor rainfall this year. In North Darfur, a dry spell of between three and six weeks was reported from the end of July to the beginning of September, whereas in North Kordofan, in contrast to most other parts of the country, there was no significant cropping rainfall before July, after which the rains stopped early.

Groundnut has performed well this year. Especially large areas have been recorded in South Darfur where the harvested area of groundnuts is expected to exceed that of millet. Substantial areas were planted to sesame, with yields varying from as low as 25 kg/feddan in North Darfur to almost 100 kg/feddan elsewhere.

Livestock condition and rangelands are generally good at present, though some areas will face problems in the near future. In parts of eastern and northern North Darfur, water levels in hafirs are low and several hafirs have remained dry throughout the season; livestock numbers in these areas are already depleted after last year's poor pasture production, and livestock prices are low. In parts of South Darfur, rangelands are already grazed down and pastoralists are preparing to move their livestock further south or west in search of better grazing. Livestock numbers in these areas are high and hold the potential for causing conflict if there is competition for grazing later in the dry season.

4.2 Southern Sector

Southern Sudan, with an area of 640 000 km2 and an estimated population of 6.3 million people in 2001, has been in a state of continuous conflict since 1983.

The diverse resources, which have traditionally supported complex livelihood systems including farming, fishing, pastoralism, hunting and trading, have been rendered inaccessible to varying degrees according to location, by civil war, inter-factional rivalry, looting, cattle raiding, terror and scorched-earth tactics. The results of the conflict and breakdown of law and order have effectively shattered the integrity of the region. The outcome is a series of government controlled townships, accessible only by air, or protected rail and river convoys, located in a matrix of divided, rebel-held countryside.

Administratively, there are three distinct zones encompassing the GoS-held areas, the SPLA-held areas and the SSLA areas. The GoS divides the Southern Sudan into ten states, grouped into three Regions. The rebel-held countryside is divided into six regions, now subdivided into 34 counties.

The complex agro-ecology of the south results in a growing season varying from 150 days in the north to 300 days in the south, offering the opportunity to replant early crop failures in the north and grow at least two cycles of crops on the same area in the "Green Belt" in Western Equatoria, Yei and Kajo-Keji. Past development policies, easier access and better security for investment, have led to the emergence of large-scale mechanized farms in the northern clay plains of Upper Nile Region, which generally accounts for 25 percent of the cereal production. Elsewhere, apart from around 2 000 hectares of mechanized farming around Juba and Wau towns, agricultural production is accomplished by some 900 000 subsistence or near subsistence, hand-cultivating households. The farmers grow a wide range of sorghum landraces with minor crops of maize, pearl-millet, finger-millet and rice. Other crops grown vary according to agro-ecological zone. In the north, groundnuts make very important contributions to the household food economy along with small areas of sesame, tobacco, pumpkins and beans. In the south and central regions, the most important crop is cassava, which in West Equatoria, West Bahr el Ghazal , Bahr el Jebel and Lakes may produce half or more of the carbohydrate needs, according to location. Consequently, diet varies significantly between agro-ecological zones. According to WFP household food economy estimates, annual cereal consumption ranges from 60 kg to 110 kg per caput.

Cereal production in 2001

The disruption of the civil service has led to a complete breakdown of the official gathering of agricultural statistics. In Government-held areas, State Ministries of Agriculture offices, though extant, are understaffed, under-funded and only have access to limited areas around the towns. They have virtually no facilities with which to operate. In the rebel-held areas, the county agricultural co-ordinators attached to SRRA and RASS offices are equally without facilities. They rely heavily on information provided by volunteer agricultural extension workers who are in need of training in natural resource information gathering and handling.

Information is therefore very fragile. It is based on subjective judgements and anecdotal evidence extrapolated to state level. In both northern and southern sectors, NGOs running agricultural projects collect valuable information regarding crop and animal production related to their activities, but rarely enter into objective measurements of area and production.

Further, the relief monitoring and annual needs assessment exercises conducted by LOS/WFP provide useful estimates of food stocks, conditions and performance, but all are far removed from the cadastral surveys and yield estimates required for accurate production assessments.

Area estimates

Consequently, the Mission relies on calculations using best-bet population estimates adjusted by various factors to estimate area. This year, UNICEF's Multi-indicator Cluster Survey has been used, adjusted by State MoA information from Juba and Renk (Upper Nile) and WFP Technical Support Unit 2001 updates. Different factors, according to locations for a) farming families; b) farm sizes; and c) cereals cropped, have been employed to determine area cropped as shown in Table 4. The factors have been updated by Mission terrestrial and aerial observations and the OLS-WFP-NGO-MoA reports.

In most zones, except Jonglei due to water-logging, Raga due to major conflict and Unity due to insecurity, areas farmed have remained stable or increased. Northern Bahr el Ghazal indicates a much greater agricultural area due to the inclusion of Tonj (Warrab) in this zone in 20011.

Table 4. Population and Area Estimates in Southern Sudan, 2001

Region
Total population
(000's)
Households
(000's)
Farming
households
(%)
ha per
household
Total Area (`000 ha)
Upper Nile
1 312
       
111
Upper Nile
420*
70
67
(95)
0.7
47
Unity
486
81
57
(70)
0.7
40
Jonglei
406
68
34
(50)
0.7
24
Equatoria
2 230
       
261
Bahr el Jebel
869
       
102
Yei
434
72
61
(85)
0.9
55
Kajokaji
105
18
16
(85)
0.9
14
Juba
330*
55
47
(85)
0.7
33
East
686
       
45
Kapoeta
301
50
35
(70)
0.4
14
Totit
385
64
51
(80)
0.6
31
West
675
       
114
Tambura
392
65
55
(85)
1.2
66
Yambio
67
11
10
(90)
1.2
12
Maridi
58
10
9
(90)
1.2
11
Mundri
158
26
21
(80)
1.2
25
Bahr el Ghazal
2 786
       
286
North
1 885
       
180
Aweil W
494
82
78
(95)
0.6
47
Aweil E
419
70
66
(95)
0.6
40
Twic/Abyei
283
47
45
(95)
0.6
27
Gogrial
382
64
61
(95)
0.6
37
Tonj
307
51
48
(95)
0.6
29
West
273
       
26
Wau
215
36
32
(90)
0.8
26
Raga
58
10
0
(0)
0
0
Lakes
628
       
80
Rumbek
426
71
68
(95)
0.8
54
Yirol
202
34
32
(95)
0.8
26
Total
6 328
       
658
Main source is MICs (UNICEF and WFP 2001 adjustments) at six members per hh.
*Source: State MoA estimates.
NB: No farming in Raga assumed this year. This year Warrab included as Tonj in North Bahr el Ghazal.

Production estimates

Production estimates include all cereals harvested during the year 2001, including those already consumed. For the sake of balancing cereal availability and requirements for marketing year 2002, it is assumed that a similar quantity will be available next year (2002). Such an assumption holds little risk in most areas if the rainfall pattern in the northern territories conforms to normal expectations and security continues to improve.

Cereal production, from the traditional sector, in 2001 is 12 percent higher than the previous year, due to the significant increase in yields and a greater area of sorghum planted. This figure masks the failure to plant cereals in Raja and lower production in Jonglei. The production in Bahr el Jebel has increased due to expansion of farming around Juba. No information is available for Yei, Kajo-Keji or Unity States, therefore data similar to last year have been entered.

The mechanized sector, given continuing rains as predicted by long range weather forecasts and adequate quelea quelea control, is expected to produce 122 000 tonnes of sorghum.

Consequently, the Mission estimates the 2001/02 cereal harvest in Southern Sudan at 650 000 tonnes. The harvest expected from the tradition sector is 529 000 tonnes of which some 396 000 tonnes is expected to be sorghum.

Tables 5a and 5b provide time-series data of cereal production by State and location respectively, however, care is needed in interpretation because of changing population estimates and territorial inclusions from year to year.

Table 5a. Southern Sudan - Trends in traditional cereal production by state, 1997 - 2001

Region
Area ( 000 ha)
Production ('000 t)
 
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
Upper Nile
151
133
120
127
111
91
45
85
83
92
Upper Nile
53
52
34
44
47
33
22
41
23
41
Unity
41
40
21
40
40
34
10
17
14
32
Jonglei
57
41
65
43
24
24
13
27
46
19
Equatoria
148
194
190
250
261
218
71
166
175
242
Bahr el Jebel
43
39
24
911
102
68
13
28
15
87
E Equatoria
54
55
45
45
45
17
19
39
37
22
W Equatoria
51
100
121
114
114
133
39
99
123
133
Bahr el Ghazal
153
94
158
273
286
168
46
70
112
195
N Bahr el Ghazal
41
22
34
127
180
68
10
15
23
109
W Bahr el Ghazal
42
30
29
702
26
46
13
22
22
21
Lakes
70
42
95
763
80
54
23
33
67
65
Total
452
421
468
650
658
477
162
321
370
529

 

Table 5b. Southern Sudan - Trends in mechanised cereal production by location, 1997 - 2001

Region
Area (`000 ha)
Production ('000 t)
 
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
Renk, rainfed
140
207
27
82
125
127
157
18
52
101
Renk, irrigated
0
0
0
0
10
0
0
0
0
18
Malakal
4
6
3
3
3
4
4
2
2
3
Melut
8
10
0
0
na
8
8
0
0
na
Total
152
223
30
85
138
139
169
20
54
122

Other Crops

The agricultural potential of southern Sudan is high, a wide range of field, vegetable and tree crops may be grown successfully in all states. In the traditional sector, most crops are grown in insignificant quantities due to the effect of the civil war exacerbating the pre-war lack of development of the area. West Equatoria, Lakes and Yei were previously exceptions to the rule, but the stagnation of economic activities in urban centres, during the past 15 years, has eliminated earlier progress. Consequently, across the board all other crops are associated with subsistence use rather than cash sale. Yet, in such locations, surpluses of fruits in season are identifiable each year including mangoes, bananas, papayas and oil seeds, available in quantities that may make small-scale village level processing a viable option, if markets can be found.

The two most important crops, other than cereals, are cassava and groundnuts. Cassava forms a household safety net in all but the three most northern states where groundnuts take on a similar significance as a short-cycle, later alternative to sorghum. In N Bahr el Ghazal, groundnuts are usually planted separately, in weed free conditions, in plots of 0.2 to 0.4 hectares. With the advent of animal traction, which is well suited to the northern sandier soils, groundnut entrepreneurs are emerging with the occasional farm of 5-10 hectares now apparent. This year, groundnut areas are noted as less than last year, as more sorghum was planted early in the season. Nevertheless, the area is substantial.

This year the cassava crop is normal. Mission crop-cutting spot-checks in Wau and Western Equatoria suggest production may be around 20-25 tonnes per hectare for the two-year variety. In West Equatoria, cassava is not only grown in combinations with a variety of cereals, but is also planted at the end of the "shifting" rotation as a perennial. Cassava areas are, therefore, greater than elsewhere, which explains the very low price of cassava flour in the local markets at SP3 000 per quintal. Given that cassava stocks are likely to have been lost in Raja, cassava flour from Western Equatoria offers a readily available alternative if purchasing and transport can be arranged.

In West Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Warrab and Bahr el Jebel, many crops tend to be grown inter-cropped with long-cycle sorghum in the plots furthest from the homestead. Such combinations included cassava, sesame, beans and groundnuts. Therefore, the areas of cassava and groundnuts are similar to areas of the less intensively sown sorghum.

The other major crop in the mechanized sector is sesame. This year, sesame area is estimated at 52 000 hectares at Renk and yields are noted as variable. This suggests a declining interest in sesame production compared to the past 2 years.

Livestock

The contribution of livestock to food security varies from state to state, according to presence of trypanosomiasis. Generally, the more significant contribution to household food economies are in Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei, Upper Nile and the drier zones of East Equatoria.

This year, the early start to the rainy season initiated early pasture growth. Later rains have afforded normal or greater than normal vegetation growth in all range areas. Fewer major floods to date suggest that the riverine water pastures have been more accessible and animal movement easier, which has eased grazing pressure around villages and towns. Consequently, animal body condition in the settled herds and flocks is better this year. Less flooding has also reduced the swamp-related parasitic infections. Better condition suggests better maternal performance, which should reduce neo-natal mortalities and increase milk production and growth rates of young stock. Unfortunately, there are no data relating to livestock production parameters to identify norms, let alone identify annual deviations from norms. The only hard information available details veterinary activities conducted by NGOs working in both sectors. Such data confirm that the rinderpest vaccination campaigns, using community animal health workers and vaccinators, have been conducted and that routine outbreaks/treatment of black quarter, haemorrhagic septicaemia, peste de petits ruminants (PPR) and CBPP have been conducted. No confirmed outbreaks of rinderpest over the past 5-6 years has resulted in a partial change to the vaccination policies. From next year, annual vaccination programmes are to be dropped and antibody monitoring introduced in areas west of the Nile. It is unclear what effect this will have on funding or access to herds for other veterinary or data collection purposes.

Food availability in southern Sudan

Despite a better year, an overall deficit is expected in 2002, which will be compounded by further needs if the early season crops do not perform as well as this year. Bahr el Ghazal exhibits a more general deficit concomitant with the growing days/rainfall expected. However, the requirement of 29 000 tonnes is mostly due to an imbalance in cereal production and population in the Northern State and has been traditionally solved through groundnuts, cattle trade and remittances. Such mechanisms still exist but not at the previous levels, which means intervention will be necessary until pre-war conditions return.

Table 6 provides a breakdown of the situation by location, including the production and needs of Government and rebel-held areas combined. The overall deficit does not take into consideration some 10 000 tonnes of wheat imported to the Government held towns. It is thought that wheat has an urban market, outside the food economy profiles upon which cereal consumption is based and is additional to stated per capita needs.

Table 6. Southern Sudan: Traditional sector cereal supply/demand balance in 2001/02

 
Population ( 000)
Gross production
( 000 t)
Net production ( 000 t)
Cereal use (kg/head/ year)
Consumption
needs ( 000 t)
Balance
(000 tonnes)
Upper Nile
1 312
92
79
60
79
0
Upper Nile
420
40
34
60
25
+9
Unity
486
32
29
60
29
0
Jonglei
406
19
16
60
25
-9
Equatoria
2 230
242
210
88
196
+14
Bahr el Jebel
869
87
75
80
69
+6
Yei
434
49
42
80
35
+7
Kajo Keji
105
12
10
80
8
+2
Juba
330
26
23
80
26
-3
East Equatoria
686
22
20
80
55
-36
Kapoeta
301
6
5
80
24
-19
Torit
385
17
15
80
31
-17
West Equatoria
675
133
115
110
74
+41
Tambura
392
79
69
110
43
+26
Yambio
67
18
15
110
7
+8
Maridi
58
13
11
110
6
+5
Mundi
158
23
20
110
17
+3
Bahr el Ghazal
2 786
195
169
71
198
-29
North
1 885
109
93
73
138
-45
Aweil West
494
28
25
73
36
-11
Aweil East
419
24
21
73
31
-10
Twic / Abyei
283
16
14
73
21
-7
Gogrial
382
22
20
73
28
-8
Tonj
307
18
16
73
22
-7
West
273
21
18
77
21
-3
Wau
215
21
18
73
13
+5
Raja
58
0
0
140
8
-8
Lakes
628
65
55
60
38
+17
Rumbek
426
44
37
60
26
+11
Yirol
202
21
18
60
12
+6
Grand Total
6 328
529
458
 
473
-16
Note: Seeds at 10kg/ha and losses and other uses (backyard poultry) at 12 percent.

Given the difficulties in unassisted transfer of grains from surplus area to deficit area, due to marketing and access problems, intervention needs are likely to be greater than the estimated deficit. Clearly, local purchasing is desirable from the point of view of boosting local production but should be tailored imaginatively, to match the commodities available (local sorghum, maize, finger-millet, cassava flour) and quantities that can be readily accessed. Farmers' Associations in Western Equatoria have been formed and offer a mechanism for purchasing maize and sorghum that have already been tested. Surpluses of finger-millet and cassava flour may be more readily available if consumer demand exists and quality control standards, for the latter, can be identified and introduced.

Notwithstanding the above, the quantity of sorghum needed to match southern Sudanese requirements may easily be met by grains from the Renk mechanized sector. Such stocks are traded to the North via Kosti, but may be suitable supplies for movement south, in the dry season.

5. EMERGENCY SUPPORT MEASURES TO HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY

There is an urgent need for early purchase, treatment, storage and transport of local crop seeds (sorghum, millet, maize and rice), for distribution to needy farmers and IDPs, in time for the next main cropping season, that starts in June/July 2002 in the North and April/May in the South. Farmers in the drought-prone regions of western and eastern Sudan that have experienced crop failures during the 2001 would require an estimated 1 550 tonnes of millet and sorghum seeds for the next planting season. Also an estimated 400 000 war-affected households in Southern Sudan, including 100 000 IDP families will require hand-tools, appropriate crop and vegetable seeds.

In addition boosting animal feed stocks, preferably by rehabilitating pasture and range land through local purchases of range and pasture seeds and support to the immunisation campaigns will enable to reduce vulnerability to malnutrition and improve livelihood security of 600 000 livestock-owning families in southern Sudan and the transitional zone.

Provision of fishing equipment will also contribute to making cheap animal proteins available to the most destitute households.

6. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

6.1 Current market situation

Average cereal prices for most of 2001 remained relatively high reflecting the previous year's poor harvest. Figure 1 indicates the 2000 and 2001 sorghum prices in Gedaref, a major cereals market in the country. However, as prospects for a good crop in the major producing areas became apparent, sharp price declines were observed in September. For instance, a 90kg bag of sorghum which was selling at almost SP45 000 in August 2001 fell to SP28 000 in November 2001 - a 38 percent drop over a three-month period. In some outlying areas of Gedaref, prices were reported to have fallen to less than SP15 000/bag during November.

Source: Gadaref Cereals Market

Millet prices in main producing areas of Kordofan and Darfur remained consistently higher throughout 2001 compared to the previous year. Livestock prices, on the other hand, were generally lower for the most part in 2001. As indicated in Figure 2, the terms of trade became increasingly unfavourable for pastoralists, meaning that they had to sell more goats to buy the same quantity of millet.

Source: Nyala Cereals and Livestock Markets

In southern Sudan, sorghum prices on the large schemes in Upper Nile State were beginning to fall from levels of between SP45 000 and 50 000 prior to harvest; in Bahr el Jebel sorghum prices at the same time were as high as SP90 000. Cassava flour was selling for about SP3 000 per 100kg bag in early November.

Table 7. Sorghum Prices in Southern Sudan in October 2001, compared to the previous year

Location
Prices (SP/100kg)
 
2000
2001
Yambio
45 000
15 000
Kapoeta
64 000
54 000
Juba
108 000
72 000
Malakal
70 000
55 000
Wau
-
55 000
Pulmerk
50 000
50 000
Rumbek
15 000-30 000
24 000
N. Bahr el Ghazal
63 000
28 000
Aweil
112 000
56 000
Source: Collected by Mission from various sources.

Prices for cash crops have remained low in 2001 compared to 2000 across different markets in northern Sudan. Groundnuts presently sell for between SP8 000 and SP14 000 per 45 kg bag, and sesame is selling for between SP20 000 and SP30 000 per 45 kg bag. Increased production coupled with depressed world prices have exposed many farmers to large financial losses. Many mechanised farmers have abandoned harvesting their cash-crops in order not to incur more financial losses.

6.2 Cereal supply/demand balance for 2001/02

The cereal balance shown in Table 8 is based on the following assumptions:

Opening stocks of cereals, mainly in the Strategic Commodity Reserve Authority and WFP stores, at the beginning of the marketing year 2001/ 02 (November/October) are estimated at 106 000 tonnes, of which about 50 percent is wheat.

Aggregate cereal production is estimated at 4.81 million tonnes, which together with the carryover stocks gives a domestic availability of 4.92 million tonnes of cereals.

In deriving total cereal food requirements, the mission took account of regional differences in diets, food production and availability, historical trends, and conditions created by the ongoing civil conflict. For northern states and garrison towns in the south, the average cereal requirement per caput in the year 2001/2002 has been assumed to be 145 kg, which is the same as last year. This comprises 80 kg of sorghum, 16 kg of millet, 47 kg of wheat, and 2 kg of other grains. Latest estimates indicate a population of 27.5 million in the northern states and the garrison towns in the south in mid-2001/02 marketing year. The cereal requirement of this population amounts to about four million tonnes. For the rural areas in southern Sudan, where there is a higher intake of cassava and other root crops, per caput mixed cereal requirements are estimated at 75 kg, slightly higher than last year due to improved domestic availability and revised population estimates (see Table 6). This figure includes 10 kg of maize, 36 kg of sorghum, 7 kg of millet and 22 kg of wheat. On the basis of a mid-year population of about 6.3 million, the cereal requirement for the rural areas of southern Sudan amounts to about 472 000 tonnes.

National livestock feed requirements, seed and crop losses are assumed at about 15 percent of production. Seed rates are normally estimated at 7.5kg/ha for sorghum, 5kg/ha for millet and 150kg/ha for wheat.

Cereal exports, mainly to Chad and other neighbouring countries, are estimated at 100 000 tonnes of sorghum.

Imports of wheat have risen nearly fivefold from 1990 to 2000, reflecting population increase, a change in consumer taste fostered by urbanisation and increased income in some segments of society. Wheat consumption, expected to be 1.451 million tonnes in the 2001/02 marketing year (November to October), will be well above the anticipated domestic production of 315 000 tonnes. Therefore, about 1.1 million tonnes of wheat will need to be imported to meet consumption requirements. Commercial wheat and wheat flour imports are expected to be almost 1.15 million tonnes, similar to last year's actual imports.

Table 8. Sudan. Cereal balance sheet for 2001/02 ( 000 tonnes)

 
Cereals
Rice
Sorghum
Millet
Wheat
Other
Availability
4 916
24
3 802
579
371
140
Opening stocks
106
0
32
0
56
18
Production
4 810
24
3 770
579
315
122
Utilisation
6 099
49
3 802
579
1 529
140
Food
4 460
45
2 427
484
1 431
73
Feed
400
0
318
37
0
45
Seed
112
3
50
21
22
16
Losses
236
1
185
28
16
6
Export
100
0
100
0
0
0
Closing stocks
791
0
722
9
60
0
Commercial Imports
1 183
25
0
0
1 158
0

 

Increased cereal production in 2001 will allow for a build-up in national stocks. With a significant increase in sorghum production, stocks are expected to increase substantially to more than 700 000 tonnes, the equivalent of more than three months consumption requirements. However, the global picture masks serious deficits at regional and local levels. Despite increased production, several areas in southern Sudan will be in cereal deficit mainly due to population displacement and insecurity. The predicted cereal surpluses in some regions will be unavailable in deficit areas due to market segmentation and absence or break down of normal trade routes and infrastructure. Even within surplus States the inability of both urban and rural poor to access the available food means that food assistance will be required in 2002. Furthermore, parts of western Sudan and Red Sea State have suffered crop failures due to erratic weather. For most, this is the third consecutive year of poor harvest. As a result, prices of cereals, particularly for the staple millet crop, have remained unusually high during 2001, thus eroding the purchasing power of the population, with large segments depending of food assistance. Therefore, targeted emergency food assistance will be required in these areas.

For food aid requirements in 2002, the Mission strongly recommends local purchases of domestic cereals. Adequate supplies will be available, prices should be competitive, and local procurement could add strength to an expected weak market in 2002.

6.3 Nutrition Situation

The nutrition status of the population is monitored through data provided by UNICEF and NGOs. During 2001, the nutritional status deteriorated in parts and progress made in reducing malnutrition in 1999 to mid-2000 was reversed in parts due to escalation of conflict and drought. This has exacerbated the overall food insecurity in these areas and further weakened coping mechanisms of vulnerable people. In areas with poor security such as parts of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Eastern Equatorial and Unity, malnutrition is usually high at 15-30 percent throughout the year. However, in other more accessible areas, food aid has helped in bringing down malnutrition rates to less than 10 percent, with the exception of the Red Sea State where continued severe drought since 1998 has affected large numbers of people. Inadequate provision of basic services such as health, water and sanitation compound the problem of malnutrition and remain a great challenge.

The overall malnutrion rates in most parts of Sudan remain precarious, at over 15 percent. In 2002, the nutrition status is expected to deteriorate or remain as high in Red Sea State, parts of North Kordofan, West Kordofan, North Darfur, South Darfur due to poor harvest in 2001; and in several Zones in southern Sudan, including Kapeota and Torit in East Equatoria, Aweil West, Aweil East, Gogrial, Twic/Abyei and Tonj in North Bahr el Ghazal, Raja in West Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei and Unity mainly due to population displacement and insecurity.

6.4 Emergency Food Aid Needs in the Year 2002

The Annual Needs Assessment findings for the Sudan indicate that in the year 2002, over 2 million people in Unity, Bahr El Ghazal, Equatoria, Jonglei, Red Sea State and parts of Kordofan and Darfur will require food aid.

In Unity State, a volatile and fragile security situation continued through 2001. Fighting around the oil fields, coupled with militia and inter- tribal clashes have displaced over 50 000 people of Bentiu, Rubkona and Pariang. As a result, agriculture production has suffered as many displaced flee their homes in search of relatively secured areas and food aid. In Greater Bahr el Ghazal, fighting in Raga displaced more than 18 000 IDPs mainly during the planting season affecting crop production. Raga was a main supplier of food crops to Wau and other parts of the region. In Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria dry spells, inadequate availability of inputs such as seeds, floods and pests have resulted in poor harvest increasing the need for food assistance at least through the hunger-season until July 2002. Emergency assistance will also be required in Red Sea State, parts of North & south Darfur and North & West Kordofan well into 2002, due to poor harvest following erratic rains.

While total food availability in the country is satisfactory, pockets of serious food shortages have already been identified and their food requirement estimated. In the affected States of Kordofan, Darfur and the Red Sea the food deficit is estimated at about 78 000 tonnes. In southern Sudan, where insecurity is a major cause of food aid needs, the overall needs are estimated at 52 000 tonnes. In addition, food aid needs in the Nuba Mountains (both northern and southern sectors) amount to about 25 000 tonnes. In total, 155 000 tonnes of food aid is required in 2002 to assist IDPs, drought affected and vulnerable people.

5.4 Other WFP Interventions

Food-for-Work (FFW): WFP has implemented FFW programmes in the drought-prone States of Darfur, Kordofan and Red Sea. In these States, droughts have frequently resulted in crop failure and water shortages making the region chronically food insecure. The objective is to support poor households by providing employment and in the improving water availability. In 2001, the region suffered from a severe drought and as a first response the FFW activities were expanded to support more people. A total of 11 000 tonnes of mixed food commodities were distributed benefiting 294 000 drought affected people. As part of the Country Programme, construction/rehabilitation of improved Hafirs (water reservoir), earth dams and hand-dug wells would remain as the major intervention in FFW activities. In 2002, 44 Hafirs and 60 wells are planned for construction/rehabilitation. A total of 21 000 households are expected to benefit from employment opportunities and 126 000 people are expected to receive about 9 000 tonnes in food aid.

School Feeding Programme (SFP): WFP is supporting School Feeding Programme (SFP) in the five chronically food deficit states (Northern and Western Darfur, Northern and Western Kordofan and the Red Sea). These states have low enrolment and high dropout rates especially for girls. The intervention is expected to reverse the situation and improve the learning capacity of children. In 2001, about 337 000 schoolchildren were provided with meals amounting to 8 500 tonnes of mixed food commodities. During 2002, in addition to the regular SFP, there will be a mother and child nutrition component to cater for the malnourished pregnant and nursing mothers and pre-school children. The SFP will cater for about 386 500 school-children while the mother and child nutritional component will cater for 9 000 pre-school children and 5 000 women. WFP will provide about 18 000 tonnes of mixed food commodities for the year.

Protracted Refugee Operations: WFP has provided assistance to Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees in eastern Sudan since 1967. In 2001 WFP provided food aid to 132 931 refugees in the regular programme. In addition, WFP provided assistance to about 90 000 Eritrean refugees who fled the border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Repatriation for both caseloads is ongoing and as a result it is expected that in 2002, a monthly average of 110 000 Eritrean refugees will be assisted from January - April while 55 000 will be assisted from May - December, under one project. A total of 10 724 tonnes of food will be required during this period. WFP continues to support and encouraging participation of women in all activities, particularly in decision-making roles.

Support to grain producers through local purchase: whenever and wherever possible, WFP uses local purchases to transfer food from surplus to deficit areas thus supporting farmers and vulnerable groups. This year surplus cereal production is available in the main producing areas of central and eastern Sudan and prices, particularly of sorghum, are declining rapidly. So far, WFP is planning to purchase up to 15 000 tonnes from the surplus areas and has already started buying. Timely availability of finance and commitment form donors are essential to continue local purchases that are essential optimal production decisions by farmers in 2002.

Logistics

The WFP programme in Sudan runs a very complex logistics operation to deliver food to the most vulnerable people affected by drought and insecurity. In war affected areas of Sudan, access to beneficiaries is a main challenge and WFP uses a combination of transport modes to deliver the required food.

In the Northern Sector, food is either purchased locally from surplus areas or imported through Port Sudan depending on donor contribution. To facilitate efficient food storage and distribution to beneficiaries, WFP has operational logistics bases with adequate storage facilities in Khartoum, Port Sudan, Kosti, El Obeid, Malakal, Juba, Wau, Bentiu, Nyala and Ed Daein. Relief food from these bases is delivered to recipient locations in both sectors by a combination of road, river, rail and air transport. Rail and river transport have not been used much in 2001 for security reasons, but it is hoped that these modes of transport will be used by commercial arrangement to the extent they are needed. WFP operates Ilyushin-76, Hercules C-130 and Antonov-12 aircraft from bases in the northern sector in order to serve southern sector locations primarily in Bahr el Ghazal. Air transport constitutes the main mode of operation (more than 95 percent) especially to southern Sudan; most often the only feasible mode, which justifies the huge operational cost of food delivery. Barges have been used whenever possible to deliver relief food and non-food items to beneficiaries along the four river corridors: Sobat, Bentiu, Zeraf and Juba.

In the Southern Sector, food is either purchased in Kenya or imported through the Kenyan port of Mombasa. Commodities are transported from Mombasa by road and rail to Lokichoggio, or by rail to WFP intermediate storage facilities in Kampala and onward by road to Koboko in northern Uganda. From Koboko, food aid is delivered by road through commercial transporters to beneficiaries primarily in the Bahr el Ghazal region. From Lokichoggio, deliveries are primarily made to beneficiaries by air using C-130 Hercules and Buffalo aircraft. Limited deliveries are also made by road to locations in Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei. Northern sector locations, such as government-held towns in Eastern Equatoria, are also served from Lokichoggio for cost effectiveness.

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.

 

Please note that this Special Report is available on the Internet as part of the FAO World Wide Web (www.fao.org) at the following URL address: http://www.fao.org/giews/

Office of the Chief

GIEWS, FAO

Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495

E-mail: giews1@fao.org

Ms. J. Lewis

Regional Director, ODK, WFP

Fax: 00256-41-255115

E-mail: Judith.Lewis@wfp.org

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